Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters.
Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.
Synopsis from Amazon
I really wanted to love this book; C. S. Lewis left such a beautiful mark on literature with the fantastic world of Narnia and I couldn't wait to learn about his personal life as well. Told from the perspective of Joy Davidson, we are brought on the long journey of her and Jack's relationship until she finally becomes Mrs. Lewis. Sadly, this journey was largely uninteresting too me and I really had to force myself to finish the novel.
Way Too Long
I'm going to be blunt: just because it took years for Joy and Jack's relationship to become romantic does not mean I want to feel as if I'm living every one of those years over again with them. Their relationship was a prime opportunity for time jumps to take place; the story would still have worked and it wouldn't have dragged on as long as it did. There were entire chapters where Joy discusses the beauty of Oxford or the horrors of living at home. While I can appreciate both, the sheer repetition of these descriptions was frustrating to read over and over.
More Letters, Less Joy
I would have loved to read more of the letters between Jack and Joy in the full, instead of the tiny bits we are given in between Joy's ongoing diatribe about her loveless marriage and difficulty writing. I often sympathized with the difficulties that Joy faced, but the sympathy would ebb the longer she went on complaining. Gaining access to the full letters would have increased interest in Jack's perspective, as well as what Joy was going through. Instead, I often felt annoyed by her and was tired of her by the end of the novel.
I really don't want to tear down this book entirely because I do think there is so much value in understanding Joy's story and how her and Jack ended up together. However, I often found my mind wandering when reading this story and just didn't find it as compelling as i had hoped. I love historical fiction, but Becoming Mrs. Lewis was not a success for me. I hope others still give it a read, but I probably won't be recommending it.
FINAL RATING: 2.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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